3 Mistakes You Are Making When Setting Your New Year’s Goals (and how to fix them)

goals productivity Dec 09, 2019

I’m getting ready for the New Year, which of course means - goal setting!  I love setting goals. I like dreaming about what might be in the future, and then figuring out how to get there. 


About 10 years ago I made the most insane New Year’s resolutions list ever.  It had 72 things on it. It included awesome ideas like: ride in a hot air balloon, take a ballet class, learn Italian, learn Spanish, learn to cook, go to the gym everyday, and learn how to paint.  It’s great to have dreams, but none of these were going to happen because I never set actual goals to support them. My favorite: I will go to the gym everyday. LOL. I didn’t even belong to a gym.  How was it going to happen? Was I going to use magic? When was I going to fit in going to the gym in between learning two languages and going to ballet classes?  



Top 3 mistakes that people make when setting goals:

  1. Setting an outcome goal WITHOUT the correlating behavioral goal.  An outcome goal is the outcome you are working towards - losing 10 pounds, having 10,000 people on your mailing list, creating an online course.  Behavioral goals are the actual things that you will be doing to get to those outcomes. How, specifically, will you accomplish the outcome? For example, if you are interested in weight loss, you might set goals about what days and times you are going to the gym this week or when and what you will meal prep.  
  2. Not focusing on a specific behavior or activity.  When you set a goal, ideally you are focused on a very specific behavior or activity.  For instance, “I will work on this Monday from 9-11am” is not specific. Consider instead, “I will write 4 blogs this Monday from 9-11am.”  Much more specific. This tells me exactly what I’m going to be doing. This will not only help me to focus, but it will also help me to savor my wins when they happen - because the goal is so specific.  
  3. Not setting a specific day and time.  We are super-busy and we have to make sure that we have time for everything we want to do - it has to actually fit into our lives. Get it on your calendar!  If I were to say to you, “I will go to the gym three times this week,” that’s probably not going to actually happen. When am I going to the gym? Consider instead, “I will go to the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4-5pm,” which gets it on my calendar.



How to construct an awesome behavioral goal to support your desired outcomes:

  1. Consider a specific behavior or activity that will support your desired outcome.  What is something that will get you the outcome that you want?
  2. Plan for this week only.  While it’s great to have long term goals, it’s essential to be able to fit them into your life, to find a way to get started now.  Setting goals specific to each week will help you be successful because you can factor in things like vacations, getting sick, crazy kid schedules, meetings and projects that get moved.  
  3. Always use “I will…” to start your goal.  When you use “I would like to…” or “I want to…” it is NOT a statement of intent.  If you really want to do it, then say so!
  4. Focus on a specific behavior.  What specifically will you be doing?  Running, walking, writing, reading, researching, completing….  
  5. Make sure it fits in your calendar.  What day and time are you doing it?  And is that actually possible? For example, it takes time to drive places
  6. Make sure you address how long or how much or how many.  How long will it take?  How many servings of vegetables are you eating?   How many miles are you running? 


Here are some examples to help you get started:

Outcome goal: I’d like to relax more.

Behavioral goal:  I will read x book on Monday night from 7-9pm.  


Outcome goal:  I’d love to get all my blog posts done by Sunday.

Behavioral goal:  I will write 4 blog posts on Saturday from 4-6pm.


Outcome goal:  I’d like to be healthier.

Behavioral goal:  I will run on Monday - Friday from 7-7:30am.  


Outcome goal:  I’d like to get 1,000 new people on my email list.

Behavioral goal:  I will create one lead magnet to support my ideal customer’s need of x on Monday from 10am-2pm.

What are your big ideas for next year??  And how are you going to get there?   

I’d love to hear more about them in our FREE PRIVATE <<Facebook group>>

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